Age, occupational demands and the risk of serious work injury

Occupational Medicine
Peter Smith, J Berecki-Gisolf


Interest in the relationship between age and serious work injury is increasing, given the ageing of the workforce in many industrialized economies. To examine if the relationship between age and risk of serious musculoskeletal injury differs when the physical demands of work are higher from those when they are lower. A secondary analysis of workers' compensation claims in the State of Victoria, Australia, combined with estimates of the insured labour force. We focused on musculoskeletal claims, which required 10 days of absence or health care expenditures beyond a pecuniary threshold. Regression models examined the relationship between age and claim-risk across workers with different occupational demands, as well as the relationship between occupational demands and musculoskeletal claim-risk across different age groups. Older age and greater physical demands at work were associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal claims. In models stratified by occupational demands, we observed the relationship between age and claim-risk was steeper when occupational demands were higher. We also observed that the relationship between occupational demands and risk of work injury claim peaked among workers aged 25-44, attenuating among ...Continue Reading


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